Gun sales under President Trump aren't what they were under President Obama. According to data on federal firearms background checks, which is used as a barometer of firearms sales, nationwide gun sales fell by 8.4% in 2017 compared with 2016. That follows three straight years of increases dating to 2014. Gun rights expert Alan Korwin, who runs the website gunlaws.com, says firearms sales are often driven by outside news and events. "The president in office, what Congress is doing with legislation...each one of these has a ripple effect to whether people feel secure, and whether they think they need more firearms," he tells KTRH.
It is no big surprise to the gun industry that sales have fallen since President Trump took office. "Obama was so hostile to guns and gun rights that many people went out and bought firearms, and the joke was he was the best gun salesman the country had ever seen," says Korwin. "Under President Trump, a lot of people feel more secure, and so the immediate demand to run out and buy firearms slackened."
Recent events outside of the White House may impact firearms sales. Gun maker Remington Outdoor Company announced plans to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection amidst legal troubles and falling sales. That happened just as activists nationwide launched a new wave of protests and pressure to pass gun control legislation in the wake of the shooting massacre at a Florida high school. Retailers like Walmart and Dick's Sporting Goods announced new restrictions on firearms sales. And former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens wrote an op-ed calling for repeal of the Second Amendment.
Korwin believes all of this recent anti-gun activity will likely drive gun sales up again. "They would like to see guns taken away from the public, there's reports on that everywhere," he says. "And that does heighten people's concerns, so they run out and buy firearms."